Bottom Heavy (2014)

for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and drum set

Duration: ca. 7'00"
  • Winner of 2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award
  • Premiere
    December 2, 2015
    Queens College Percussion Ensemble – Michael Lipsey, Director
    Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College
    New York, NY

Bottom Heavy exemplifies the combination of classical and popular music essential to my compositional vocabulary, and represents a significant portion of my works that explore the combination of chamber ensembles with drum set, featuring a heavy groove and drawing from two different genres of popular music: Trap (a subgenre of hip-hop) and New Orleans-style Second Line. At the same time, a number of Bottom Heavy’s other features are taken from the world of contemporary classical music, including its pointillistic and hocketing orchestration, its utilization of extended techniques (including scratch tones in the strings and crotales struck and placed on the snare drum), and its extended formal structure based on a sixteen-note pitch series. The euphoric arrival of the electronic sub-bass line (performed by the pianist who doubles on a MIDI keyboard) makes the connection to Trap explicit, marking the climax of the form.